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National News, October 17

MCSA National News 2 October 2017 National News, October 17


Several African clubs have already established reciprocal membership and I am sure many of you have benefitted from the warm welcome of other clubs. The MCU, in cooperation with MCSA, would like to invite all clubs to attend a meet in Uganda in January of 2018. Uganda has quite possibly the finest mountains in all of Africa, the famous Rwenzori in the west, the dramatic Virungas of gorilla fame in the southwest, the much-heralded Mt Elgon in the east and the little known, wild, and unspoiled peaks of Karamoja in the northeast. Uganda’s got something for every type of mountaineer, glaciated uplands, technical pitches, gorgeous hikes and peace in some of the most beautiful and remote parts of East Africa.

Full article and flyer: 2018-Pan-Africa-Meet-Uganda-1



Monique Smit, who lives at the Durbanville Children’s Home, was partially sponsored for the YWCH by the MCSA (National) and the MCSA (Cape Town Section).

Monique has embraced the opportunity of climbing for SA in the YWCH with full spirit and tenacity. She has grown from strength to strength in her confidence and professionalism. From day one she engaged and applied herself. There were moments of fear and anxiety; however, the whole team worked together in supporting encouraging and helping each other during some difficult moments.

Monique fully embraced the opportunity of training on some magnificent walls in the Kletterzentrum Innsbruck (Climbing Gym).  The first challenge started with the bouldering comp in which the first problem was very tough. The number of people watching and the international stage overwhelmed Monique. After the president had a brief chat with her she came out again for the second and subsequent problems determined and focused.

She led the South African Youth B females in her speed and agility on the speed wall. Monique has expressed the wish to compete again and do better next time knowing what to expect and how hard she needs to train.



This year’s theme is Mountains under Pressure: climate, hunger, migration.

Almost one billion people live in mountain areas, and over half the human population depends on mountains for water, food and clean energy. Yet mountains are under threat from climate change, land degradation, over exploitation and natural disasters, with potentially far-reaching and devastating consequences, both for mountain communities and the rest of the world.

Mountains are early indicators of climate change and as global climate continues to warm, mountain people (some of the world’s hungriest and poorest), face even greater struggles to survive. The rising temperatures also mean that mountain glaciers are melting at unprecedented rates, affecting freshwater supplies downstream for millions of people. Mountain communities, however, have a wealth of knowledge and strategies accumulated over generations, on how to adapt to climate variability.

Climate change, climate variability and climate-induced disasters, combined with political, economic and social marginalization, increase the vulnerability of mountain peoples to food shortages and extreme poverty. Currently, about 39 percent of the mountain population in developing countries, or 329 million people, is estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity.

As the vulnerability of mountain populations grows, migration increases both abroad and to urban centres. Those who remain are often women, left to manage the farms but with little access to credit, training and land tenure rights. Out-migration from mountain areas will also result in an inestimable loss in terms of provision of ecosystem services and preservation of cultural and agrobiodiversity. Investments and policies can alleviate the harsh living conditions of mountain communities and reverse out-migration trends from mountain areas.

International Mountain Day 2017 provides an occasion to highlight how climate, hunger and migration are affecting highlands and to ensure that sustainable mountain development is integrated into the 2030 Agenda and in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

This year, the theme is also linked to the Mountain Partnership Global Meeting, to be held on 11-13 December at FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, which will focus on the challenges and opportunities in sustainable mountain development and will launch a Framework for Action to support concrete actions and establish policies that strengthen the resilience of mountain peoples and environments.

While “Mountain under Pressure: climate, hunger, migration” is the suggested theme for 2017, countries, communities and organizations are welcome to celebrate International Mountain Day through the choice of a different theme that might be more relevant to them.

In the coming months, we will prepare communication materials in all six UN languages, which will be made available on our website and distributed as hard copies to those who request them.

Meanwhile, please contact with news of the celebrations you are planning, so we can post them on our interactive map



Howard Cooke has the following high-altitude equipment, which has never been used (due to illness in the Himalaya), for sale at very good prices.

  • 3-layer La Sportiva high extreme cold boots, crampons, ice axe, ankle covers
  • Everest suit, gloves, balaclava
  • Helmet, goggles
  • La Sportiva boots

Photographs are available. Email:  or call  +27844361099 (mobile) or +27 21 8552836 (home); Skype: howard-cooke




Malbun, Liechtenstein has been selected to host the 2018 UIAA Ice Climbing World Youth Championships from 6-7 January 2018. The World Youth Championships are a fundamental aspect of the UIAA’s commitment to the future of ice climbing.



For the first time in Africa, the 7th Digital Earth Summit 2018 (DES-2018) on Digital Earth for Sustainable Development in Africa will be held in El Jadida, Morocco, at the Faculty of Science, Chouaib Douakkali University from April 17-19, 2018. More information:

We would like to invite you to submit an abstract. The submission deadline for 7th Digital Earth Summit 2018 is 21 October 2017. You are kindly invited to submit your abstract using our online system available at

The 7th Digital Earth Summit 2018 will be a major event in the African and international community of Earth observation and geo-spatial information science in 2018. It will be organized by the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE)  and the Chouaib Douakkali University (UCD) in partnership with the the African Association of Remote Sensing of the Environment (AARSE)  .

The main objective of DES-2018 is to bring together scientists and professionals from the African and international community to present latest achievements, discuss challenges and share experiences. The conference program will feature keynote speeches delivered by leading scholars, technical sessions with reports of the latest research outcomes, discussion sessions on operational topics such as capacity building, Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), big data, space policy, programmes and projects, as well as commercial exhibitions showing latest products and services in Digital earth and Geospatial information technologies.



National: abbreviated link for the national MCSA Facebook page:

New Webpage: Free State Section:

Links for all sections’ web pages are on the national web page.



There is no section news.



9.1) Asian Alpine E-News

The Issue No. 10 is Peak Identification of the aerial views of mountains in West Sichuan Highlands. Aerial pictures were taken in flights between Chengdu and Lhasa. The Asian Alpine E-News is compiled being based on the Asian mountaineering community. Information sources, however, are not limited to the Asian countries. Pioneering expeditions, notable ascents, valued journeys, field research, and mountain people and culture are to feature variety of the submissions. Asian Alpine E-News Issue No. 10 :

9.2) The ‘National Pride’ At Stake, Nepal prepares to remeasure the Height of Mt Everest

Nepal has announced plans to go ahead with a planned survey to remeasure the height of Mt Everest, citing ‘National Pride’ as a reason it is proceeding with the delicate, time consuming, and costly operation. The surveying expedition is expected to take up to two years to complete and cost somewhere in the neighbourhood of $250,000. Full article :

9.3) Hari Budha Magar:  Double Amputee has reached the Summit of Mera Peak

The former British Gurkha soldier has reached the summit on that mountain, becoming the first person to do so following the loss of his legs above the knee. He, and four other members of the team, topped out on the 6476-meter (21,246 ft.) mountain at 9:02 AM local time on Tuesday.

Magar, who lost his legs while fighting in Afghanistan, used this expedition as training for an upcoming attempt on Everest. He now plans to attempt to summit the world’s highest mountain in the spring of 2018. He has now descended off of Mera Peak and is resting before proceeding for home.

9.4) Twenty Great Trekking Routes From Around The Globe

Looking for some new trekking routes to explore? Never fear, National Geographic has you covered with a wonderful list of 20 epic trails from around the world that can quench your thirst for adventure. Check out the entire list here of epic trails here.





Newsworthy items for inclusion in MCSA National News can be sent to the Editor, Bridget Carrick at

Quote: May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view –
Edward Abbey

“explore – discover – connect – protect”

“verken – ontdek – ontmoet – bewaar”

“phonononga – fumanisa – qhagamshela – khusela”

MCSA-CT Office Admin

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